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LCV Launches 2nd TV Ad Calling on Rep. Benishek to Stop Supporting Taxpayer Handouts to Big Oil

Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or

November 11, 2011  

MICHIGAN – Today, the League of Conservation Voters launched a second television ad in Michigan’s 1st district calling on Representative Dan Benishek to stop voting to protect tax breaks for Big Oil. The ad highlights the Congressman’s extensive voting record of supporting unnecessary subsidies to the oil industry while accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies. The television ad will run on broadcast and cable in the Traverse City media market.

"As Michigan families struggle to make ends meet, Congressman Benishek is voting to hand out billions in special tax breaks to the nation’s most profitable oil companies," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "He may claim that oil companies ‘pay their fair share,’ but there’s nothing fair about his votes to allow oil companies to profit off Michigan families twice: once at the pump and again from their federal taxes."

This week, in response to LCV’s first TV ad, Rep. Benishek has stated that oil companies “pay their taxes” and that he doesn’t “believe in any subsidies.”   [WKQS Mark and Walt in the Morning, 11/7/11; WBKP, 11/8/11] Yet the oil industry pays less than half of the 35% corporate tax rate and some oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, completely dodged federal income taxes for at least one year between 2008 and 2010. [Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10, November 2011]

The five biggest oil companies made over $100 billion in profits so far in 2011, and the oil and gas industry receives $4 billion in tax breaks annually.  Yet Rep. Benishek told constituents at a public forum: “I think oil companies pay their fair share.” [Center for American Progress, 10/28/11; CNN, 4/29/11; Petoskey News, 8/24/11] Earlier this year, Rep. Benishek voted against an amendment to repeal $53 billion in oil subsidies.  Three days later, Exxon Mobil wrote him a check for $5000. [HR1, House Vote 109, 2/18/11; FEC] The ad urges Rep. Benishek’s constituents to contact the Congressman to tell him to vote the right way on this critical issue.

While consistently voting to protect their unnecessary subsidies in the U.S. House, Rep. Benishek has received $49,850 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies over the course of his career. [Center for Responsive Politics]

View the ad here:

View the ad script and documentaiton here:

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